A florist is more than just the bouquet. Boutonnieres, corsages, centerpieces and even additional flowers to add to your cake can all be a factor. Use these questions to ensure the florist you select can help bring your vision to reality.
The responsibilities that fall under the umbrella of "florist" can vary greatly, and it's important you get those details ironed out before working out a contract. If you haven't hired a florist before (which is most to-be-weds) then you may feel like you're in uncharted territory. Don't worry - we've got your back. Work these questions into all your florist interviews and we guarantee you'll walk away feeling confident in your decision.1. Have you done many weddings?
This is really code for: Do you know what you're doing? Experience is usually a good indicator of expertise, and that's important since it will mean they'll be able to guide you through the process easily - even if you throw in some curveballs, like asking how to create less expensive alternatives or which flowers are in season or grow in the region.
Be wary if the answer is no. Pictures of past bouquets and centerpieces will give you a sense of whether you and the florist have the same taste. Seeing photos of their work will let you know exactly what they're capable of and how it compares with your inspiration bouquets. The trick here, though, is having them tell you if the photo was something they consider their style or if it was the couple's vision. Neither answer is bad - if you love the look, you know they're capable of making it again; if you hate it, ask to see something they think is reflective of their own style.
If they have, they'll be knowledgeable about what sizes, shapes, and colors work in the venue. It's also a great way to see how other couples transformed the space. If they haven't, ask if they'd be willing to do a site visit to scope it out and note any limitations. This isn't as essential as general experience and style, but it's super-helpful and could save you time and money.
If your florist is handling multiple clients, you'll want to ensure they have enough staff and time to go around. Make sure to discuss your vision with the person who will actually be working on your wedding flowers. You'll pay more for a full-service florist who makes sure everything is in order the day of, but it's often worth the peace of mind.
Maybe you can picture your bridal bouquet, right down to the number of stems - or maybe you have no idea and would like some serious hand-holding. Find your floral match. Some florists love input from their clients, while others work better with more freedom to handpick the freshest stems or stretch the palette a little. Hire someone whose creative process matches your needs. It will make this planning step better for everyone involved.
This seems obvious, but it's not just about making sure the florist will take the job. If your budget is low, talk openly and honestly about how much you can spend at your initial meeting. Sometimes hearing "no" is a good thing, because then you can figure out how to compromise early on. Maybe it's impossible for anyone to accomplish what you want within that price range (read: you want a lush flower wall on a shoestring budget). Most florists can work with you no matter how much you have to spend, but it's important to start the conversation early - and to be open to new ideas and alternatives.
You don't want to be the middleman - florists have a better idea what's needed to carry out your vision, be it indoor topiaries or a 10-foot-tall floral chuppah. Ideally, your florist will communicate with your venue directly to be sure your plans don't interfere with their policies. You also want to make sure they're comfortable handling setup and breakdown without having to involve you, since you'll be pretty busy on your wedding day.
Most florists are actually more like event designers. You may be able to get extras, like fabric draping, lanterns, chairs, candelabras and lounge furniture, from them. Why is this a good thing? Dealing with one wedding pro rather than four or five can simplify the process and alleviate stress (sometimes you can save on delivery charges too). If they don't offer these services and you're interested in them, see if they regularly partner with a rental company. Oftentimes florists have a friend in the industry, and you can be assured the two work well together.
These are the sneaky line items on a proposal that can add up. A florist usually assesses your budget for flowers and labor only, so ask about these "extras" you can't really avoid. Also, make sure arrangements for pickup have been made for any rented items, like vases and arches.
When you hire a florist, you're typically quoted a price that includes not only the flowers but also the vases or other containers you'll be renting to display the stems. This means that while those pretty blooms are yours to keep, the urns or candelabras go home with the florist. If you're interested in repurposing the arrangements for a day- after brunch, you'll want to discuss the details with your florist. They can often work the additional cost of vases into your initial proposal.